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Dave Aranda adds Matt Powledge to his first Baylor coaching staff

Matt Powledge, a native of Huntsville coached outside linebackers and served as special teams coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2018-19.
Credit: Kurtis Quillin/KCEN
Dave Aranda holds his press conference to discuss Baylor's signing class on Feb. 5, 2020. It was Aranda's first National Signing Day as Baylor's head football coach.

WACO, Texas — Matt Powledge, a native of Huntsville who coached outside linebackers and served as special teams coordinator at Louisiana-Lafayette from 2018-19, was announced as Baylor’s special team's coordinator and safeties coach by head coach Dave Aranda.

“I have known Matt for several years through camps in Louisiana,” Aranda said. “I have great respect for his intelligence and his work ethic. He is a great recruiter as well as a great developer of special teams. I was impressed with what he was able to do at Louisiana-Lafayette, turning their special teams unit into the best in the conference and one of the top in the nation. Ron Roberts has worked with him and also speaks very highly of him. We welcome Matt to the Baylor Family. I know he will improve our staff and do a great job of leading our special teams and safeties moving forward.”

Powledge, who has 10 years of college coaching experience, spent two seasons at Louisiana (2018-19) and worked with new Baylor defensive coordinator Ron Roberts. During that time the program made two consecutive Sun Belt Conference championship game appearances and won a school-record 11 games in 2019 including a 27-17 bowl victory over Miami (Ohio).

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of Coach Aranda’s staff at Baylor and to build something special here in Waco,” Powledge said. “Coach Aranda and Coach Roberts are two of the best coaches I have ever been around, and I look forward to working with both of them here. I’m a native Texan, so a chance to get back home and compete in the Big 12 Conference was something that made this opportunity very appealing.”

In his two seasons at UL, Powledge mentored six All-Sun Belt honorees. In 2019, Louisiana ranked first or second in the Sun Belt in kickoff return defense, kickoff returns and net punting. Additionally, the Cajuns ranked among the top 24 in the nation in each category.

All-Sun Belt picks for 2019 included a pair of first-team honorees in returner Raymond Calais, who led the Sun Belt in kick return average (28.47), and punter Rhys Burns, the league’s leader in punt average (44.24). Additionally, outside linebacker Joe Dillon was a second-team selection after finishing third in the Sun Belt with 7.0 sacks. Powledge’s primary place kicker received an all-conference mention both seasons in Lafayette with Stevie Artigue (2019) and Kyle Pfau (2018) each being named honorable mention. 

Powledge served as tight ends coach and special teams coordinator for ULM from 2016-17. Under Powledge, ULM ranked second in the Sun Belt Conference in 2017 in kickoff returns averaging 25.2 yards per return. Marcus Green led the nation with four return touchdowns during the season while ranking third in FBS in kickoff return average (32.4). The Warhawks also were among the league leaders in field goal percentage and punting.

Prior to ULM, Powledge spent two seasons at Sam Houston State where he led his alma mater to arguably its best special teams season of all-time. The Bearkats ranked atop the Southland Conference leaderboard in four different categories (punt return yards, blocked kicks, special teams scores and PAT percentage). The squad was also one of six teams in the NCAA to block two-plus punts and return two or more for touchdowns.

Powledge spent three seasons as a graduate assistant (Kentucky, 2013 and Southeastern Louisiana, 2010-11) sandwiched around a season as running backs coach at Northwestern State in 2012.

Powledge was a standout at Sam Houston State from 2005-09, culminating in All-Southland and team captain honors his senior season. He earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Sam Houston in 2009 and his Master’s degree in sports management from Southeastern Louisiana in 2011.

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